Like any housing co-operative, we are reliant on our members to manage, carry-out and finance our operations. When you become a member, you take on the responsibility of our collective success – don’t worry, it’s a responsibility we all have. We assess every applicant through a multi-step system to ensure their affinity with our co-operative values and then do our absolute best to place them in a home to suit them. First and foremost it’s important that we all live and work together well…
Upon joining us, you’ll be met with an extensive network of co-operative enthusiasts, more than happy to help you settle in to our majestic microcosm. We are nurtured by a voluntary committee of upstanding members, looking after the day-to-day aspects of our community; everything from on-site maintenance, community events and even this here website. In addition, we have a team of dedicated staff members, ready and waiting to support any of your finer housing needs.
Our committee is comprised of between 8 and 12 GPHC members, looking to make a greater impact on how we operate. Each year our community nominates who will represent it for the next 12 months. If more than 12 members are nominated, we hold a fair and inclusive election at our annual general meeting (AGM).
Once elected, the committee will designate key positions (chairman, secretary, treasurer) as well as any other key “officer” roles (membership, maintenance, communications etc.) who will then get to work forming their individual sub-committees and working groups. Sub-committees and working groups can be operated by any member and bear a lot of the “grit” in getting things done.
We hold monthly committee/ general meetings that all members are encouraged to attend and contribute to. We also publish our very own newsletter to help keep all of our residents better informed of what’s going on at all times. Members are openly welcomed to contribute their ideas to the committee, with a mind to make GPHC the best that it can be.
All Members are Shareholders
From the outside looking in, GPHC might appear to be like any other collection of houses. On paper however, a housing co-operative follows a defined business model, with corporate responsibility shared amongst each of its members.
When entering into your tenancy agreement with us, you will be asked to pay a nominal fee of £1, which represents the value of your share. Additionally you will be provided a “share certificate” which should contain all the details of your stake and declare you a legal entity of Giffard Park Housing Co-operative Ltd. This entitles you to equal voting rights within a general meeting and protects you under the laws of the co-operative housing model.
Unfortunately for people looking for an investment opportunity, this isn’t that kind of shareholder scheme. Individual shares maintain their nominal value and cannot be sold on to any third-parties. Once a person’s tenancy agreement expires, their stake in the business is considered null and void.
Primarily GPHC derives its finances by collecting “rent” from its residents. Due to the nature of our being, we are in a unique position to offer an incredibly low rate of payment for shared accommodation, one bedroom flats and ground level, street-facing studio apartments.
Payments can be made weekly or monthly and in many cases include utilities and council tax. We offer members the opportunity to pay rent in advance as well as providing a fair arrears policy, up to £75. All members are encouraged to keep up to date with their financial contributions, as without them the co-operative fails to be able to function and everybody runs the risk of losing their homes.
We have a variable pay structure, depending on the type of accommodation. Please see below for a breakdown of rents & rates, based on accommodation type. All figures are current to the date provided and eligible to inflation upon review.
Single Bedroom (Shared House)
From January 2018 rent in the region of £83per week – includes Council tax, Water, Heating and Electricity. Fully Furnished.
One Bedroom Flat
From January 2018 rent in the region of £93per week – including Water rates only. Unfurnished.
From January 2018 rent in the region of £73per week – including Water rates only. Unfurnished.
At present we have 12 shared houses, 20 flats and 4 studio apartments on-site, typically fully occupied. We have an extensive waiting list in place and are quick to act on any vacancies. Upon signing their tenancy agreement, a member provides 4 weeks rent up-front to ensure the co-operative can function at its best. This isn’t a deposit however; it’s a provision on the part of the new member to the co-operative, which immediately places them in “credit”. In this way, all members are encouraged to invest in GPHC from day one, with the understanding that our shared investment is our shared gain.
Our spending is managed by the treasurer and the treasury sub-committee. All money spent by the co-operative is carefully guarded by a strict set of industry standard rules and all major plans for development are open to discussion and voting at general meetings. No member can ever profit or be remunerated in any way by the co-operative, to ensure our finances are best placed for collective benefit.
If you’d like to learn more about living at Giffard Park Housing Co-operative, please fill in the enquiry form at your earliest convenience. A member of staff or a person from the membership sub-committee will contact you ASAP.
Below you will find an example PDF of our standard application form. Please feel free to download this and have a look at what goes into our application process. We advise that you request an up-to-date application form from our office before your final submission, as some details may be subject to change over time. If you are struggling with any aspect of the process, our membership sub-committee and staff are on hand to support you every step of the way.
Be aware that we may carry out relevant checks on your identity, to ensure the safety of our members and co-operative. This may include credit checks, legal database checks and social media identity checks. No such observances will be undertaken without your express permission and no data will be stored for more than the period of your application. You reserve the right to refuse any of these but please be advised that refusal to disclose vital information can and most likely will affect your application.